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Hydrocodone Abuse Signs, Symptoms and Addiction Treatment

  1. Article Quick LinksPrint
  2. Signs and Symptoms
  3. Effects of Hydrocodone Abuse
  4. Hydrocodone Abuse Treatment
  5. Hydrocodone Statistics
  6. Teen Hydrocodone Abuse
  7. Resources, Articles and More Information

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, dealers sell hydrocodone under the street names Norco, Hydro and Vikes, the latter of which refers to Vicodin, a brand-name drug that contains hydrocodone. Many doctors will only prescribe this drug for those with severe pain caused by disease or injury. Abuse occurs whenever you use the medication other than as recommended by a doctor. If you increase your dose, take the medication for a longer period than recommended or if you take more doses throughout the day than you should, you are abusing hydrocodone. You should know that you can take back your life and get free of the addiction cycle. It is never too late to ask for help, and you can start by reaching out to us at 1-800-943-0566 to discuss more about how to help a Hydrocodone addict.

Other names for hydrocodone

Google Trends: Searches for hydrocodone

In the US, searches for "hydrocodone" peak in Arkansas, followed by Texas.

Hydrocodone Abuse Quiz question 1

Signs and Symptoms

An addiction to hydrocodone causes changes in the person taking the medication. Signs and symptoms of hydrocodone abuse are not always easy to spot because these changes vary from person to person. There are a few common symptoms of hydrocodone abuse that you should look for, including:

  • Requesting frequent refills for the drug
  • Seeing two or more doctors for additional prescriptions
  • Spending time away from other people
  • Going through money quickly
  • Focusing more on hydrocodone than anything else
  • Sudden changes in social activities
  • Mood swings

Hydrocodone Abuse Quiz question 2

Effects of Hydrocodone Abuse

When taken as directed, hydrocodone can offer relief from pain, which leads to addiction in some users. As you continue taking the medication, your body changes the way it processes the drug. Your brain can eventually reach the point where it thinks that it must have the drug to get you through a normal day. This can even occur in patients who take the drug as prescribed by a doctor.

Addiction relates to a term that doctors refer to as tolerance. Tolerance is the dosage that you take of hydrocodone before you feel the positive effects of the drug. When you continue taking the same size dose, your body adjusts to the amount. You might find that you need a higher dose before you feel those same initial effects of Hydrocodone use. If you keep taking more of the medication, you increase the chances of developing an addiction.

Hydrocodone Abuse Quiz question 3

Hydrocodone Abuse Treatment

Checking into a rehab center that offers a prescription drug treatment program is the best way to get help for your problem. Outpatient treatment centers provide counseling and other services on a daily basis. Those who attend the program spend a few hours at the treatment center before going home, going to work or staying with loved ones.

Outpatient centers are best for those who can handle the freedom of such a program. If you feel like you need 24/7 help, you should choose an inpatient treatment center. With this type of program, you live at the rehab center until the program ends. You must stay for a minimum of 28 days, and some programs offer longer options. Inpatient centers can also provide support for those experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the hydrocodone.

Hydrocodone Abuse Quiz question 4

Hydrocodone Statistics

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, more than 27,000 people sought treatment for issues relating to hydrocodone abuse and misuse in 2009. This number represents patients who visited an emergency room and those who talked to a doctor about the problem. Facts about hydrocodone should also include the number of people who use the medication. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that more than 23 million people over the age of 12 abused or misused hydrocodone. These people used the generic form of hydrocodone, as well as brand-name drugs that contain hydrocodone, including Vicodin, Norco and Lortab.

Prescriptions of hydrocodone-containing drugs by year

United States

Hydrocodone/acetaminophen has been the most dispensed prescription in the US every year from 2006-2010. (source)

United States DEA annual production quotas for hydrocodone

How many people used pain relievers like hydrocodone non-medically in the last year?

United States, aged 12+

How many people used pain relievers like hydrocodone non-medically in the last month?

United States, aged 12+

Average cost of hydrocodone

  • Vicodin: 30 tablets hydrocodone/acetaminophen 5mg/325mg, $9-14 (source)
  • Vicoprofen: 90 tablets hydrocodone/ibuprofen 7.5mg/200mg, $90-130
  • Zohydro ER: 60 capsules hydrocodone 20mg, $470-530

Legal penalties involving hydrocodone

  • Hydrocodone itself is classified as a Schedule II drug. The DEA has recently moved combination hydrocodone-containing products such as Vicodin from Schedule III to Schedule II, a more restrictive classification. (source)
  • Trafficking in a Schedule II drug such as hydrocodone can carry a federal sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine. (source) State penalties for possession of Schedule II drugs can include prison sentences of up to 15 years. (source) (source 2)
  • The effects of hydrocodone medications can be a factor in impaired driving, leading to DUI charges. (source)

Legislation and policymaking involving hydrocodone

  • Numerous states have proposed policies to restrict the prescribing of Zohydro ER, a new and powerful formulation of hydrocodone. (source)
  • Due to the rescheduling of hydrocodone-containing medications, these prescriptions may no longer be refilled. All prescriptions must be received in-person and cannot be called or faxed to pharmacies. (source)

Hydrocodone Abuse Quiz question 5

Teen Hydrocodone Abuse

Hydrocodone abuse facts are sobering enough, but you might be surprised at the number of teens and young adults abusing the medication. The 2010 Monitoring the Future Survey quizzed junior high and high school students about potential drug abuse. The survey found that 8 percent of high school seniors used the medication without a prescription. The same study found that more than 7 percent of high school juniors and nearly 3 percent of eighth graders abused hydrocodone at some point in their lives.

How many youth use pain relievers like hydrocodone non-medically?

United States, pain relievers

Hydrocodone Abuse Quiz question 6

Resources, Articles and More Information

Finding more info about hydrocodone abuse is a natural part of the rehabilitation process. Reading articles and information online can help you learn more about addiction, discover the warning signs of a hydrocodone addiction and find the best private rehab program for you or someone you love. Looking at hydrocodone facts can only do so much, and you must be willing to take steps to put your addiction behind you. If you want help finding a top-rated long term private facility, call us at 1-800-943-0566. No matter when you call, we have someone ready to listen to your problems and get you into the right treatment center.

Need Help Understanding Your Addiction Treatment Options? Call 1-888-747-7155.